Tuesday, March 28, 2017
I Promised, so I Wrote It...Talkeetna, Alaska!
It's the town that my favorite TV show, Northern Exposure was based on. It's not on the coast of Alaska. It sits at the base of Denali Mountain and not too far north of Anchorage, in some of the most beautiful scenery you've ever seen. If this was where they had, indeed, intended to build an Alaskan Riviera, it would have been a perfect idea. Talkeetna is a tiny town with a huge impact. It's one of the best known towns in the state, and it has less than 1,000 residents. It's artsy, it's outdoorsy, it's rugged, and it's stunning. Talkeetna is one of those places that you have to see to believe.
There are many ways to get to Talkeetna. You can drive, take the train, or fly. If you want to travel by boat, you will have to wait until you get there. They have boat tours on the lakes and rivers in the area. You can also take a flightseeing tour over Denali and the area from Talkeetna if you like. It's a no brainer for me. I love flightseeing tours. I never miss out on one of those. aerial views are fabulous and I love planes. The small craft in Talkeetna will thrill you, and I'm not including your reaction to the views.
Let's be honest. One of the best views in America is Denali. It's the tallest peak anywhere in North America. It's dangerous to climb, and you can't go without a guide. The mountain was once called Mount McKinley, but has been renamed in its native tongue. The mountain has it's own ecosystem, so if you intend to spend any time up there, you must apply for a permit. This is also the reason why you should book a guide. Not only is this a national park, it is restricted to a certain number of visitors a year.
Anyone can visit the mountain. There is a road. Just don't think that you'll be able to simply drive into the park. Restrictions limit vehicles. If you want to ride into the park, there are buses. It's highly restricted. I can't stress this enough. It's well worth it to take the bus, however. It is some of the best scenery in the country.
What is there to do in town? Well, there are places to stay from camping to resort. There are several restaurants, many of them have live music on the weekends and in the summer; they even have a roadhouse. And there's shopping. Talkeetna has gone the way of so many tourist towns and is home to many artists. The art is local, unique and includes a lot of native art. But, in addition to that, there are so many things to do that no one can get bored. There is hiking, biking, fishing, tours, and more.
The restaurants are everything from standard to gourmet and standard looking to original in appearance. The lodging goes from camping to the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge and all the amazing things that go with it. Because Talkeetna is set up for tourists, there is no shortage of shopping, lodging, or food.
There are a couple of activities that anyone can do that are great. Talkeetna lays ownership to the zip lines that are the farthest north in North America. The scenery is dramatic and breathtaking. I mean, you're talking Denali and area. You can't beat that. The other thing that you can do is go and visit a dog sledding farm and take a ride on a dog sled. Don't worry if you're there when there's no snow. The dogs run all year round, and in the summer they use a cart in place of the sleds. Whatever the case may be, these are two Adventures for Anyone in the far north.
Gold miners settled this place. There's lot of history here. You can even tour the cemetery and see just how many people died in the days of the gold rush. One thing you will take away from Talkeetna is how friendly the people are. It's a quirky little village that welcomes visitors year round whether they're skiing, flying, fishing, hiking, eating, golfing or doing something spectacular like dog sledding. It's one of the towns that is so far north you wouldn't think that you'd want to visit due to the weather, but Denali is a sight worth the trip. It's America's tallest peak and it's stunning, especially with the surroundings that it has. So, book early, pack up your things and hop a train to the north where adventure meets beauty and see Denali and Talkeetna. Enjoy!